Yes, it's our ABC – demand more funding
While the threat to introduce commercial advertising on the ABC is off the agenda for now, the need to increase the public broadcaster's revenue has not abated.
Through various email lists (thanks Damian), I've learned of an online petition campaign run by GetUp calling for the Federal government to increase its funding to our public broadcaster in the upcoming budget. The GetUp campaign says:
Right now, the Cabinet's budget committee is deciding the ABC's funding for the next three years. ... As it stands, the ABC is $264 million poorer in real terms today than it was 20 years ago. The programs we rely on - from independent news and current and affairs to quality children's content - are under extreme pressure. In a very real sense, the integrity of the ABC is now at stake. ...GetUp is now aiming for 40,000 signatures in the petition, so every click to the site will count!
Let's show politicians in Canberra that the ABC's owners - the public - are prepared to stand up and defend it...
You can find the petition here.
My friend Damian reminds me that that action for something as important as this needs more than signing an online petition, so please pass the word around by email, or on your blog; write to your local MP and/or Communications Minister Helen Coonan and other members of the cabinet (who will make the decision); and remember to tell your mates at the pub, the bbq, at dinner or at work about this important campaign!
Also try writing to the newspapers (an oldie but a goodie), calling talkback radio (my least favourite), and leaving positive comments on blogs (like mine) that raise the issues of broadcasting and a public funding for the ABC.
Yes, it is our ABC. So if we want to see a properly funded, relevant, fearless, un-cowed public broadcaster, then we need to do our bit.